Charles Quinton Murphy, Jr. was born in Bushwick, Brooklyn on July 12, 1959, but raised in Roosevelt on Long Island by his mother, Lillian, and stepfather, Vernon, after the stabbing death of his dad, Charles, Sr. While his brother Eddie was breaking into show business, Charlie was serving his country in the U.S. Navy.
By the time he was honorably discharged in 1984, Eddie had already skyrocketed to fame, having parlayed his success on Saturday Night Live into starring roles in 48 Hours, Trading Places, and Beverly Hills Cop. Charlie would follow in his sibling's footsteps, making his big screen debut in Harlem Nights, and following that up with roles in such feature films as Mo’ Better Blues, Jungle Fever, The Players Club, King's Ransom and Roll Bounce.
But he really came into his own relatively recently, as a regular on Chappelle's Show, where he contributed both as a writer and by appearing in memorable skits playing himself and such characters as Buc Nasty and Donald Rumsfeld.